Archive for the 'Collectibles' Category

It’s better to be thought a fool than to sit down at the typewriter and remove all doubt . . .

Monday, March 17th, 2014

I bought a few jazz records over the weekend, as I do whenever the opportunity arises. One was a 10-inch Mercury LP from 1950, produced by Norman Granz and titled “Charlie Parker with Strings.” The disc was a bit controversial when producer Granz brought it out. Critics wondered whether Bird Parker, who had fought the […]

Some interesting new arrivals

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

As it was never our intention to present here only “gun-related stuff,” and since a number of readers raised their hands when asked not long ago if they’d like to see more “book stuff,” herewith an update of interest primarily to those seeking interesting and hard-to-find titles. Most of you know The Brunette sells vintage […]

Often Wrong

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Perusing the memoirs of 20th century book dealers and collectors can provide some useful perspective on what’s been collected over the years, as well as an idea of the (often jaw-droppingly low) prices people used to pay for things the average person could hardly dream of stumbling on today – inscribed copies of Dickens and […]

Time again for the annual Christmas book list

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Books make great Christmas gifts: No one ever complains they’re the wrong size or color. Great books reveal themselves when their audiences expand beyond their assigned pigeonholes. Finally asking for guidance after dividing and quartering the fiction sections for 20 minutes, I can still remember having to crawl on my hands and knees through the […]

And now, it’s illegal to possess the silver coins

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

I’m a tad too young to remember nickel Cokes, though I can remember when they were a dime. It’s tempting to say that in vending machines today “they’re now a dollar.” But in fact the four quarters you’re shoving in the slot consist mostly of copper and contain not a smidgen of silver, so your […]

The corpse that refreshes

Monday, November 15th, 2010

The Health Nazis have tried for years to discourage cigarette smoking — at the same time they greedily seize cigarette tax revenues to plug their budget gaps, of course — by placing more and more onerous warning labels on packages, forcing smokers to huddle outside in the snow, slashing magazine revenues by barring colorful ads […]

Vin sells some comic books, Part II

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

In last week’s column, I’d walked into a local comics shop with some “Silver Age” Marvel and D.C. comic books from the early 1960s, comics with 10-cent cover prices theoretically cataloguing at hundreds of dollars each, but actually in typical “fair to very good” worn condition and thus not likely to retail at more than […]

Vin goes to sell some comic books

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

At the local mutiplex, the tightly edited “coming attractions” are often better than the real movies they advertise. Unfortunately, when today’s real-world “coming attractions” feature a fast-devaluating dollar, means-testing of “entitlements” (come back and let us know when you’ve sold your house and you’re living under the bridge), making it a crime to “hoard” wealth […]

Foreign buyers see value, Americans walk right by

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Retro clothes are not vintage clothes. Retro clothes are new-made garments designed to imitate or evoke the fashions of as bygone era — often, the 1940s, ’50s or ’60s. Vintage fashion is the real thing: sturdy garments well made in America (usually by union labor, if that matters to you) that remind us of an […]

What’s that record really worth?

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

There are thrift shops in town with signs up, seeking to buy Michael Jackson LPs and other “related material.” They do this because people have been coming in since the “King of Pop’s” untimely demise, asking to BUY Michael Jackson stuff. I understand. But are Michael Jackson LPs a good investment? Unless they’re signed and […]